Oh, The Thoughts A Meme Creates!

So, on February 23 the below meme showed up on my personal Facebook Timeline via Hopkins Homeschool. I chuckled, shared it, and still continue to think about it. NOT dwell on it, but think about how silly and serious it is.

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Before we were even married I told my now husband I eventually wanted to be home to raise our kids. The thought of home schooling had not formed, yet. It took us 5 years to have our first child then another 2.5 years for the second one to come. At this point I was quite itchy to come home. He finally threw up his hands and said “Fine turn in your letter of resignation.” Looking back on the timing it was not good timing. I caved to my emotions rather than letting God lead, but ALSO being home has been a decision I know I have never regretted.

Yet, until the past 3 years it never really hit me to my job never ends. That is both a blessing and a struggle. When you are sick or like me battling adrenal fatigue and need lots of rest, regular exercise, a structured diet, etc. managing all that to keep yourself healthy and sane PLUS whatever four kids demand … well that is a struggle. The blessing is … “Being a stay-at-home Mom means you never have to leave to go to work!”

Now don’t get me wrong. MANY Moms and Dads both have to work due to circumstances. Many choose not to Home School so once their kids are in school they choose to work. Many love what they do and choose to work. For me though the best decision was to stay home. I was a miserable mess not being home and my former students will tell you I loved my job as a teacher and I loved them. God just placed a BIG HUGE desire on my heart I refused to ignore.

So, yes I never get to leave and this job requires my attention 24 hours 7 days a week, but even if my “boss” didn’t allow me some breaks it would still be the only job for me. Thankfully, though my husband is wonderful and never refuses me taking a break. A break I need to keep us all healthy and happy.

Final Thought…Yes I have many moments I would like to just punch out and walk out the door for a few hours, but the benefits package far out weighs the long hours. Besides this is one job that pays dividends for generations to come.

God Bless! Praying for you please pray for me!

What is Their Love for You Rooted In?

It has been a few days since I shared anything with you and I am sorry, but with our weather and a head cold I have been trying to get through the MUST do’s of each day.

The other day my husband and I were talking about a day we have coming up that two kids would have to be somewhere at the same time, but in opposite directions AND it is a day that he worked the night before so will need to sleep. We discussed a strategy, which will work out beautifully. I even talked about it with the kids so they knew what to expect that day.

Later that day I was washing a few dishes, looking out a window into our back yard, and like my mind always does it wondered into a stream of thoughts. You know the kind that take you to somewhere glorious, but when you try to share it with someone they are all confused as to why you were thinking about that and how in the world one thought took you all the way to that final thought…you know, right? ANYWAY, I was looking out the window (I will spare you the thought trail) when eventually it occurred to me “I hope our kids are learning about our love for them by observing the sacrifices we make and not because of what they are gaining due to those sacrifices!”

First of all, with four children and a Daddy that works 6-7 days a week so Momma can stay home (I just had to break to dress a Barbie doll…I knew you would want to know) there are plenty of events that both or at least one parent cannot make it to. Whether it be because we are both running kids somewhere, or one is running and one is home with the others, or one is working/sleeping, or as in the case of horse riding Mom is severely allergic to the barn and cannot go in. It occurred to me that dish washing day that I hoped our kids choose not see us NOT there, but rather chose to see all the other stuff. Do they see how much Dad has to miss, because it was important Mom was home?  I hope they grasp how much of his income goes to pay for the activities they are in. I began reflecting on this and thinking I hope they would grow up to love us more for that and not grow up wondering why we were not always there.

Secondly, I hoped they were not growing up loving the stuff Daddy’s money bought them, but rather loving the time it took to earn that money and loving the fact that he willingly choose to spend it on their desires, dreams, and passions instead of his own. Or are they loving the recital costumes or riding equipment rather than the Daddy that worked really hard to earn the money to buy those things. Are they loving Mom for being there every day for them or for the time she gives up being her own person so she can do what God called her to do?

So, I reflected on this and thought the only way to ensure that our kids are seeing and getting all this that we desire for them is to ALWAYS talk to them. We talk to them sometimes people are baffled by our choice to explain things to kids. You know “They are the kids. You are the parent. They should just deal with it!” mentality? For whatever reason, we do not always take that route. We tell our kids how it is. That it is not all about money, but money is needed to pay bills and such. That we are a family and families work together to achieve the family goal first and then the individual goals.

They may not completely get it. They may wish Mom and Dad BOTH could be at everything, but we are a part of a team … and that they get and respect. They know Daddy doesn’t CHOOSE to work every day of the week because he wants to, but because Mom and Dad want other things for the family that require Daddy to work. As a result, they do not whine about where we are. They never question why someone isn’t there. They are grasping the idea that we all work together to clean house, do laundry, and get everyone everywhere they want to be. It is a TEAM effort.

Final thought…Is their love for you rooted in the fact that you were there or is it in the fact that they know why you were not? Do they love you because you bought them that prized toy or because they know what it took for you to buy it? Do they love you because you are there at practice all the time or because you made it happen for them to be at practice? I think they should understand it both ways and love/respect you for it all.

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!

 

Sometimes In Life…

Do you ever have a saying, song, words, or phrase that just rolls around in your head? Sometimes for an hour, a day, a week, or goodness forever? Many times it gets almost annoying that whatever is in your head playing over and over again just will not quit.

Well, for about 6 months now at completely off the wall and random moments suddenly I find myself thinking or even speaking out loud the words “Sometimes in life…” and that is just were it stops….nothing comes after this. Well, you can imagine at this point my INFJ Empath Learner personality is analyzing this and wondering what sort of message I am supposed to be getting with this. What is it that isn’t quite getting through?

  • Sometimes in Life bad things happen.
  • Sometimes in Life good things happen.
  • Sometimes in Life things are not fair.
  • Sometimes in Life people play and win the lottery.
  • Sometimes in Life we wonder where God is.
  • Sometimes in Life we feel so low we can’t image ever rising again.
  • Sometimes in Life our heart breaks into tiny little pieces.
  • Sometimes in Life we find a person to put all those pieces back together.
  • Sometimes in Life we can run and run, but we will never escape.
  • Sometimes in Life there is someone there to catch us when we fall.
  • Sometimes in Life …

So, on we could go, right? Maybe I just figured out at least one reason this is in my head and as tears come to my eyes I realize we are all in the middle of a “Sometimes in Life…” moment. For some of us it is a painful moment, some it is joyous, or for some it is mundane. We are all there though…together…or we have all been there…together. Yes, right now in this moment I believe God created “Sometimes in Life…” moments to connect us in a common sense of empathy.

Do not withdrawal from those moments. He needs us to FEEL each moment to enable us to FEEL it with someone else later. Empathy (funny I mentioned Empath above when this thought hadn’t occurred to me until now) isn’t about understanding someone’s emotion it is about SHARING IN someone’s emotion. Feeling exactly how they feel. I believe today not everyone has this ability and I believe it is because we stopped allowing others and our selves to truly FEEL the emotions as they come. Once we FEEL them we can let them go to God, but if we don’t they stay with us forever. They will forever be apart of us that is what enables us to feel with others, but they will not consume us. We will be allowed to move on to our next “Sometimes in Life…” moment.

Final Thought…FEEL whatever your heart and soul needs to feel.

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!

Home School With a Block Schedule

I haven’t written about our home school world in a while or ever. Maybe because I never feel like I know anymore than any other home school person out there. Yet, I have come to let many things go and focus on the fact that those of us that home school do it our own way. We have our own lives, goals, family needs, needs of each child, etc., which we have to work into a routine to work best for us. It has taken us a bit of time because of many different things that came into play over the past 6 years. Seemed once I THOUGHT I had it all figured out something would occur…a new baby, a lay off, working from home, a different job or shift, etc.

Yet, I now believe that those past 6 years of learning how we work and reflecting on things I have read have led me to a state of PEACE with how we have been functioning over the past few months. Things are clicking for us in MANY areas of our home that it feels really good. I hesitate to share, because I think part of my frustration the past 6 years came from a sense that I needed to do what others were doing. Although, I also have taken pieces of what I learned as a High School teacher and pieces of everything I have absorbed as a home school Mom and applied it. With that said I suppose sharing may help someone on their journey.

Basically, during BOTH weeks we attend our Academic Co-Op one day a week and the other four days we do our Reading, Spelling, Handwriting, Math, and Co-Op homework each morning. Their homework this year is an essay, Geography work, and extra grammar or math review sheets. Then we have lunch. Evenings are pretty much the same each week as well. After we are home from their activities (dance, tumbling, horses, karate, scouts, gymnastics) and settled down for the evening we do reading/storytime. Each evening we read from a different area Monday is a Literature book, Tuesday US History, Wednesday is a book of their choosing, Thursday is World History and Map work, and Friday is poetry/Shakespeare.

During Week #1 our afternoons include our elective/hobby work and projects around home. We are also working to make sure all our appointments and play dates are done during this week. Things we do during this week are random home projects, yard work, cleaning the house, bulk baking and cooking (which the kids help with all steps), sewing, knitting, and anything else we want to learn to do.

During Week #2 our afternoons include studies of typical elective classes. These include our own

  • Geography work (2 lessons during week)
  • My son’s Scout badge activities (1 lesson/week)
  • My son’s religion work (1 lesson/week)
  • My son’s US History curriculum (1 chapter and activities/week)
  • Human Body Study/Sex – Ed/Anatomy whatever you want to call it (1 lesson each/week)
  • Language Arts which includes grammar, literature, and writing (2 lessons/week)
  • A Science experiment (1 lesson/week)
  • Science (1 lesson/week)

We do prioritize these as some of their workbooks are not a full year. Other things around the house take a back seat this week. We just maintain our world as we have 5 LONG full days of book work.

I have been feeling so much better knowing we are covering all our interests and all the things I feel they should be learning, but in such a manner that nobody hates learning here. We never feel overwhelmed and we are learning primarily through primary texts rather than textbooks.

Remember this is a system that is NOT perfect, but one that I have finally found works the best for the demands and structure of our family AT THIS STAGE of our lives. I am guessing in a couple of years things will change and require me to adjust AGAIN! All good as long as they are getting what they need.

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!!

I Will Pray For You

I am someone that prays all the time. If I wasn’t talking to Jesus all the time in my little head and heart, then I am not sure how I would get through my day. I DO NOT SAY that to proclaim anything or to say I am a better than anyone. In fact, I know I am not better than and that I am imperfect so I NEED to pray. Yet, it seems when I tell people I am praying for them sometimes they get this glazed over look. I will not presume to know what each person’s glazed over look means. I am sure something different for everyone. Yet, for the sake of discussion lets assume some meanings.

First of all, maybe it is a feeling a “AWE”. They are feeling so overwhelmed with joy that someone is going to honor them by taking time to pray for them that they are just speechless and shocked with wonder. I am sure this is even more so when someone is in great need of prayer and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Secondly, I think maybe for some people they have never had anyone offer to pray for them or even with them. This happened to me once. I was never raised to just grab someone’s hands and offer to pray for them them. Yet, God has placed MANY people in my life over the past 20 years that do this without hesitation and it has rubbed off on me. So, maybe that look is a glazed over look from shock or surprise.

Thirdly, maybe that person is wondering “Why in the heck are you praying for me? Do you think I need praying for? Who are you to pray for me? You are a sinner yourself?” WOW…maybe all that, more or less, but I am sure sometimes the glazed over look is from them feeling insulted or offended. I suppose then their glazed over look is from them choosing to keep their emotions behind the glaze.

Whatever the reason it seems telling someone, that isn’t struggling with something and ASKING for prayers, that you are going to or are praying for them just sits funny with people. Do it anyway! People we all need all the prayers we can get. Plus, we all need to be praying for as many people and situations as we can. It is what we are all called to do. Sure we all have our own spiritual gifts and talents that God gave us to use. For some prayer is stronger. Yet, the ONE THING we ALL are called to do is pray and serve each other. What is the easiest or maybe for some the hardest way to serve one another….PRAY FOR THEM.

FINAL THOUGHTS…so if someone tells you they are praying for you just take it as them showing their Christlike Love for you. Accept it for what it is PRAYER.

God Bless! I am PRAYING for you PLEASE PRAY for me!

Mom, Do You Need Time Away?

I wrote the italic portion on October 10, 2014. I suppose there was a reason I never posted it until now. Maybe that I simply needed to reread it this evening as I prepare it to post tomorrow. I recall the evening I typed it. The words came to my head almost faster than I could type them. That weekend I felt closer to God than I had in a very long time.

So, I am here sitting out at Silver Lake at the Dunes knowing the beautiful Lake Michigan is on the other side. I am here by myself for myself to have alone time with my mind and my God. I am loving the sound of the waves. The smell of the brisk fresh air. Praying that God reveals many things to me this weekend, but mostly right now as I type what he needs you to hear.

Today, right now, He NEEDS you Mom’s to know that He treasures you like He treasures His own Momma Mary. He regards her with great honor and He feels the same for you.  See you are doing the same for your little’s that Mary did for Him. What is that? You are doing the best you can with what you have. You are teaching and guiding them the best you can with what you know. You search and reach for all you can learn, earn, and achieve so you can give them all they deserve, desire, and dream. You let God lead you each day to discover THEIR reason for being. You let God lead you to help Him mold them into where He needs them to be each day.

He wants you to know that He led others to help you. He wants you to know that it is a must for you to be alone with Him. To rest your body, mind, and soul. He/They need you to revive your spirit. To connect with Him so He can connect to them through you. It is okay. It is NOT being selfish to clear your heart and mind for a period of time. In fact, if you recall Jesus needed to and was called by God to do just that several times. Before Jesus there were Moses, Joshua, Abraham, David, Mary, Elizabeth, etc that were called to be alone with Him. To take a break from the demands of their role among the people to draw closer to God and His desires for them. To clearly see the visions God had for them.

Do you have to be gone for 60 hours at a Women’s Retreat on a lake like I am right now. NOPE…in fact this is my first time away from home, kids, husband, and family in 16 years. I have been in my home in our home town by myself, which was always very refreshing. That was perfect for me back them. Now though I have come to realize I can not send the kids to Grandma’s and just stay home. Why? Because for me I would find something that needed to be done. For this time in my life I need to be here…away…to be bored, to relax that I have not relaxed in a long time. Hey, and to be sharing with you all.

My first session starts at 8 pm. So, I am concluding Part 1 with this. He wants you to know He loves you beyond any feeling you can imagine, but more than even that He wants you to know to love Him so much that you can also love yourself enough to be alone.  Hmmm….enough to be alone….a thought to ponder….

I do have more I typed that weekend and I am sure I will post soon.

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!

Who, but God, Knew … – Part 3

Who, but God, knew that after that third miscarriage that led to a DNC, which I later learned nearly killed me, that baby number two was on the way. Who, but God, knew that six months later around our baby boy’s second birthday we would become pregnant with child number two. For the first time, I really understood my husband’s need to keep things quiet. Yet, for me it wasn’t about myself so much as the pain of telling other people of our lose over and over again. Yet, God knew the baby names would start forming in our heads. Things were really happening.

It was a sad time for us that year. Who, but God, knew that my Grandma would pass away shortly after we found out we were expecting. My father-in-law would be battling cancer. Then just before our new baby arrived my Grandpa would pass away. We welcomed baby #2 into the world the day after our anniversary and just before Christmas. Who, but God, knew that we would have to be rushed into an emergency c-section as both of our hearts were dropping with each contraction. Who, but God, knew that watching my father-in-law hold her would be treasured memories as he would leave us just 3 days after we had her baptized. Who, but God, Knew this little one would bring a great deal of joy during a sad time.

We had 9 months of pure joy with our two beautiful children…when what out of the blue…Who, BUT GOD, knew baby number 3 was on the way. Yet, ONLY GOD knew that she would have to be a fighter to make it into the world. It was the Monday before Thanksgiving when the bleeding started. I left my classroom that day and God Knew it would be the last day I would teach in a classroom. They told me that day I would most likely miscarry the child. I recall looking at the doctor and saying “No disrespect, but I have had 4 miscarriages and this baby is a fighter we will have no miscarriage here.” Bed rest it was for me for two weeks while praying my rosary all the time, talking to God, and loving this baby. Then I was cleared to get up and about, but pretty much could do nothing for 2 more months. Until they told me we would in fact be having this baby. Who, but God, knew that Baby #3 would arrive 17 months, 17 days after #2 was born. Who, but God, knew that this Baby #3 would need me to look her in the eye at age 6 with tears in both our eyes as I tell her “Honey, it is okay to quit fighting. Let your little spirit rest. You made it here. We love you … you don’t have to be the fighter anymore.” I wish I could explain that moment. It was a true Holy Spirit moment as I watched her just become lighter and a smile like I have never seen before grow on her face and in her eyes. Who, but God, Knew that moment would happen and the power it would have on the two of us in so many ways. He knew we both needed that moment.

To Be Continued….

God Bless! Praying for you please pray for me.

Do You Have Expectations?

Might seem like a silly question, but yesterday I asked us to think about who Jesus is to us. Today I feel the desire to reflect on expectations. I truly believe it is our expectations that get us into trouble. Get us into feelings of despair, loneliness, anger, frustration, and I could go one with many more emotions.

What do you expect from yourself? What do you expect from your spouse? What do you expect from your children? What do you expect from friends, parents, siblings, extended family, neighbors, community, world, etc.? Again I could go on and on and on with this.

***Before continuing I ask that you stop and reflect on what types of things you expect from the people in your life and around you. How you want them to treat you? What you may want them to do for you? Then come back here and read the rest of my post. I should just make this a two-part post, but your are grown ups and really it probably doesn’t matter a bunch.***

Expectations are what seems to get me into trouble in many ways, but before I explain that I what to make a note that expecting things out of or from people is not always a bad thing. What is bad is when you expect things you have never shared with the other party. Anyway, let me give some examples. First of all, I expect that people drive with courtesy. How does this get me in trouble? Well, it can cause me great frustration, anger, and stress when someone doesn’t drive in a manner I (YES I) deem appropriate. Yet, another layer to that is that what I deem appropriate comes from how I was taught to drive or how I was raised. So, my expectation of how people should drive really comes from my own perceptions of what is right. You can take this example and apply similar concepts to every area of your life.

I guess the best place to star is in your home. Do you expect things from your kids? Sure we all do, but have you explained and properly taught them the habits necessary to meet your expectations? Then once you are fully aware that they have been properly trained do you properly follow through daily on making sure they meet those expectations? Or do you slack in this and then blow up when over time they are not meeting your expectations? HA…I have made this mistake. How about your spouse? Do you expect your spouse to know that when you mope around the house it means they should cook dinner? Or whatever you please…do you expect them to know that you want them to do anything for you? Yet, you never explain this to them. OH THEY SHOULD JUST KNOW, because they are an adult?? Right…just like you should know how to change the oil in the car because you are an adult? I work REALLY hard NOT to get upset with my husband if he doesn’t respond in a way that I would like him to WHEN I HAVE NEVER told him. I am not in the business of giving advice. Just thoughts. So I will end on that note. I hope you are thinking.

Final Thought…my husband and I rarely fight and I believe that is because we are ALWAYS open and honest with each other about what we need or desire from the other person on everything from doing dishes to our personal relationship. We were not always this way we achieved this after READING LOTS of books!

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!

 

Why Do They Have Meltdowns and Why Do We Feel Punished?

Let’s assume for this post that my children are NOT the only one’s in the world that can have a meltdown … one that will carry on throughout the day. Why do they do this? And why do we as parents feel like we are being punished by the God’s? (Okay there is only ONE God. I am using sarcasm!) I can not speak for you and your children nor will I ever try, but my kids have meltdowns for what seems like the craziest things and it always SEEMS like it happens at the worst possible times. Anything ringing true for anyone?

So, in my life with four children it seems that on average we have an extended meltdown 1-2 times a week from at least one child. Currently, it is our #2 and #3 children that seem to have them the most often. Our oldest tends to get in a mood that resembles anger more than anything and leaving him alone is always the best policy. The other two, man, when they get going on something there is screaming, foot stomping, LOTS of tears, whining, pouting, etc. Usually when this occurs they also like to make sure to do it all EXTRA hard or EXTRA loud…ya know just in case the neighbors that live 100 yards away can hear.

I used to try to defuse it immediately and be the good mom trying to calm them down, but typically what occurred was that I would wind up getting all worked up and screaming back at them. NOW THAT IS COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. Then I read or heard some wise words about how … oh read them in The Five Love Languages for Children…that kids will have strong emotions and as parents you have two choices let them experience these emotions with your love and support OR force them to keep the emotion in. By doing the first one you show them you are a safe place for them no matter what.

Don’t get me wrong … since when this occurs I feel like our life is placed on hold and the roof my fall in. I think “Lord what did I do to deserve this today?” Yet, you know it isn’t about me that child in that moment is suffering and it is our job to teach them how to work through their stuff before a meltdown occurs. We need to get over ourselves and the inconvenience they seem to cause us at times. Besides, think of yourself … when you are all out of sorts isn’t there usually ALWAYS a reason? Well, the same is true for them. Currently, my 2 older children are knocking on hormone changes and #3 is close behind. Pretty sure we are in for lots of extreme emotions over the next 15 years as #4 will have to go through it all as well.

Final Thought…instead of seeing their meltdown as a slight or inconvenience ask God to show you what is wrong so you can TRULY teach them how to handle that emotion when it comes up again.

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!!

 

 

Who is Jesus to You?

Part of my Lenten Journey this year I receive daily email devotionals. The other day one was about the Jesus story, where Jesus asks “Who do you say that I am?” In the devotional we are challenged to ask ourselves, “Who is Jesus is to us?”

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There are MANY scripture verses that are about Jesus or the prophets or the Apostles or disciples telling us WHO He will be, was and is. Yet, today we should ask ourselves who He is to us. Below is ONE of the verses that struck me just a couple of weeks ago. Then the Lenten devotional. Plus, I have been reading a chapter a night in the Book of Acts. I think God is leading me here to do some reflecting on who He is REALLY to me.

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Can I honestly say the portion in John 8:12 that sits with me is the part about not walking in darkness? Have you ever walked in darkness? I think we all have. Let’s not compare how dark it has been for each of us. True compared to me MANY have walked in greater darkness. Yet, I have walked through my own darkness….just like you have. The thing is though that I believe you can not truly escape the darkness or the feelings it left you with UNTIL you except the light Jesus has to offer you. The amount of light and the way He delivers it is different for each of us.

I have also come to understand that there will most likely be more darkness for me and for me family. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world that allows evil to creep around. So, to get myself and my family through what is now and what is to come I pray without ceasing…I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior into my WHOLE being…I wake EACH morning with “Good Morning my Friend Jesus Lets get to it!”…I end each night with “Thank You for _____ of today.” … See for me He is my Savior, my Light, my Best Friend, my Lover, etc. I get that that will be very strange for so many of you that are reading this, but see we as humans are NEVER enough for each other. We are imperfect. God gives us the blessings of amazing human relationships, but the love that we have for our families, spouses, children, friends, etc will NEVER equal the love He has for us. He will ALWAYS give you perfection that will fill each of your needs. Turn to Him. Seek Him first.

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Final Thoughts …. Who is Jesus to You? To me He is my friend, my light, my … heart and soul.

God Bless You! I am praying for you, please pray for me!